Using DNA to isolate tumour cells

A new device used by the researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and inspired by the tentacles of a jellyfish, coating a microfluidic channel with long strands of DNA that grab specific proteins found on the surfaces of leukemia cells as they flow by. Using this strategy, the researchers achieved flow rates 10 times higher than existing devices — fast enough to make the systems practical for clinical use.

Using this technology, described in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doctors could monitor cancer patients to determine whether their treatment is working.

“If you had a rapid test that could tell you whether there are more or less of these cells over time, that would help to monitor the progression of therapy and progression of the disease,” says Jeff Karp, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Center for Regenerative Therapeutics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112171312.htm?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fmost_popular+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Most+Popular+News%29

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